How to Chart BBT
Back in July 2015, when me and my husband began to try to conceive it quickly became stressful. A little back story: I am 24 and my husband is 29. My mother had 2 sets of twins and one in the middle. So I am basically Fertile Myrtle. Or so I thought.
After 3 months of TTC, I thought I had a positive pregnancy test. Looking back after seeing what a true positive looks like, I was just searching for it and tricked myself into seeing it. I had called my doctor anyways though, in hopes that it truly was my BFP I was hoping for. My doctor’s call completely shattered me and left me broken. We had ran some tests. She said I’m not pregnant, that I was subfertile, and that I may not be ovulating at all.
I can’t tell you the amount of tears shed over that one phone call. I was crushed, devastated and depressed. I had always dreamed of being a mom and it felt like it was being snatched from me. My doctor suggested Clomid. I felt like this was going way too fast especially for only trying for 3 months. My husband encouraged me to remain positive and we could try some other natural things.
We tried a lot of things: ovulation predictor kits, Pre-seed, using gravity by lifting my hips for 20 minutes after sex (definitely the most ridiculous of methods we tried), herbs, vitamins, and nothing had worked for these 3 months. I decided to not take the Clomid and instead decided to begin charting my BBT to see if the doctor was right that I was not ovulating.
I was so pleased to see the first month I charted my temperature that I obviously DID ovulate and the tests were wrong. By month 5, charting was the way I discovered that I was pregnant!
DISCLAIMER: Charting does NOT tell you when you are ovulating. It simply tells you that it did happen. This is actually how I discovered that I was pregnant. I had used ovulation prediction kits, cervical fluid checks, and temping altogether to find when I thought I was most fertile and ovulating. You will find that they work well together. My temperatures reflected that I had ovulated and that it had stayed up meaning I was pregnant. Yay! SO , all of that to say, I love temping and want to share with you how to get started.
WHAT YOU NEED:
1. Buy the book “Taking Charge of Your Fertility” by Toni Weschler. She can explain everything you need to know about reproduction, trying to conceive and so much more. It was a great read and really helped me understand how my body works and how to chart, and why it helps!
2. Download an app to record data OR print a chart. I HIGHLY recommend using Kindara. It’s free, super easy to navigate, very simple to use, and the community is wonderful. When trying to conceive it’s nice to feel like you aren’t alone. I had experts actually email me and give me feedback on my charts and help me interpret them. It’s fantastic! I also used fertilityfriend.com and it was great too! Either are excellent resources.
3. Buy a special oral BBT thermometer that shows to the hundredth degree (this is absolutely a must or it won’t work!) You can invest however much you want. I just got a cheapie from Walmart for like $9. It worked just fine for me.
WHAT TO DO:
1. Take your temp at the same time EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Before you get out of bed, go pee, or are awake for too long. It needs to be a resting temperature. You had to have been asleep for a solid 3-4 hours for this to be accurate. For me, I set my alarm for 7 a.m. each day and just went back to bed on weekends or summer breaks. It wasn’t too difficult and eventually it becomes routine and you won’t think twice of it.
2. Record your temperature whether that is on a paper chart (“Taking Charge of Your Fertility” comes with a link for printable charts), an app like Kindara, or an online chart.
3. **Optional but highly informative!** Check your cervical mucous and cervical position and record. When your cervical mucous is like that of egg whites and you cervix is up high, you are most fertile and it’s time to get busy.
I know this looks confusing and overwhelming but it’s actually not as complicated as it looks. I promise! ?
How to Interpret the Chart:
- Lower temps before ovulation. That is the group circle from day 1-12. They can fluctuate a little bit but they generally stay in the same range or close to it. Some days you will have outliers, like I did on day 12. Things like drinking, stress, caffeine, etc.. can effect your BBT. If you use an app or a website you typically have an option to mark that day as a questionable temperature. That is why there are those cross hairs/dotted line.
- Higher temps after ovulation. That is the second group from day 14-24. Note how these also fluctuate but they never dipped lower than any of my temperatures recorded in the lower temps. This is a sustained thermal shift showing that I did ovulate.
- CM: There is a section on the bottom for recording your cervical mucus. This helps make sure your graph is accurate. I have green days from the 10-13 based on my cervical mucus and positive ovulation predictor kits. Those green days mean it’s time to get busy and it’s prime time!
- BD: Simply put means baby dancing. I think you can figure that one out ?
- OPK: Ovulation Predictor Kits. You don’t have to have these to chart but I highly recommend them! You can get a box of cheap ones from Amazon and they work great. It picks up on the hormone (LH) right before you ovulate to give you a heads up that it’s time to get going! I got a positive on day 13 which corresponds with my temperature shift.
- Ovulation Day: Calendar Day (CD) 13. When you ovulate, you will see a rise in your basal body temperature of at least .4 degrees. It must stay high for 3 days to confirm ovulation occurred. Once your temp has gone up, you passed ovulation day and it’s too late. This is why I think OPKs, charting, and cervical checks work together. Charting alone doesn’t tell you when you will ovulate. It just tells you that you have ovulated. **Also, if you are charting to not get pregnant, you are safe to BD once 3 days of high temperatures have passed. Charting is about 75% effective if used correctly as a form of birth control.
- Trend in higher temperatures: This will happen right after ovulation and will happened whether or not you are pregnant. Once it falls, you will start your menstrual cycle and begin a new chart. If it doesn’t fall after 14 days, then you could very well be pregnant!! I continued temping until I was 17 days past ovulation. I got my first positive pregnancy test 13 days past ovulation and a positive blood test 16 dpo.
Here is my last chart from my first pregnancy using the Kindara App:
My low temps were from CD 1-12. Ovulation occurred day 13. I am still not sure what was going on with the opks but I would trust charting more than opks. Based on my temps, I ovulated on day 13 and my temps continued to rise with the exception of cd 18 (6 days past ovulation). It looks like there is a little dip. This is very common and it is believed to be an implantation dip. Notice how my temps shoot back up the next day and continue to stay high. I waited a long time to take a pregnancy test because I didn’t want to be disappointed but 13 days past ovulation I finally took a pregnancy test and it was positive (and so were all the tons of others I took after that as you can see ? )
I hope that these examples helped you! Best of luck! ❤ ?
Previously featured on https://onemerrymama.wordpress.com/2017/06/08/how-to-chart-bbt/